Recipes

Gingerbread Cupcakes

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Gingerbread is a Holiday classic & we just can’t get enough.
We are still on a total gingerbread kick after baking batch after batch of our Gingerbread Cookies this holiday season.
The Gingerbread cookies were a hit and we ended up making a lot more than we expected since friends & family kept requesting them! They were definitely our star holiday cookie this year.

We couldn’t let our gingerbread addiction end with just cookies this year though, so we decided to make Gingerbread Cupcakes!

These really are the perfect Winter cupcake. Super moist spiced cupcakes, with deliciously creamy cinnamon spiced cream-cheese icing. Mmmm. And nothing tastes more like Winter than the brilliant combo of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses!

If you are a Gingerbread lover, you have gotta try these cupcakes. The combo of the ginger-spiced cake with the sweet & tangy cinnamon cream cheese icing go together like peanut butter + jelly. 😉

These are fairly simple cupcakes to make and I love them because there are plenty of different adjustments you can make to alter the taste of the cupcakes to your liking:

If your not into the cinnamon cream cheese icing, try white chocolate frosting, chocolate frosting or even plain vanilla frosting. You could even leave the icing off completely and enjoy them as muffins.

You can alter the spices as you wish. If you’re not a fan of a certain spice, put a bit less/or omit it completely and up the quantity of a spice of your choice.

Instead of the little gingerbread men cupcake toppers, you can use sprinkles or if you want to get real fancy – bake a batch of gingerbread cookies, use a fairly small gingerbread man cutout and stick the gingerbread man cookie on top of the icing.

We had lots of fun baking & decorating these cupcakes and they really are every bit as tasty as they are cute.
We hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, and hope you enjoy this recipe!

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How cute are these Gingerbread Men Cupcake Cups & Decor?!
The cups and little gingerbread toppers are both Wilton brand & can be found at Michaels & certain grocery stores.
You can also buy them online here.

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
{recipe slightly adapted from The Cupcake Diaries}
{yield: approx. 20 cupcakes}

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups molasses
1 cup hot water

Frosting Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners, or spray pans with non-stick cooking spray if you’re not using baking cups.
In a large bowl, sift together all (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt) of the dry ingredients EXCEPT for the brown sugar. Lightly whisk the ingredients to combine them slightly than set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & brown sugar for a few minutes until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix slowly after each addition. Add the molasses and mix until well combined. Next add one third of the dry ingredients and one third of the cup of water and mix thoroughly. Repeat this step, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the last third, starting with the dry ingredients than add the last third of the water and mix until well combined.

Scoop the batter evenly in the cupcake liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients (except for the milk) together until well combined. To help the icing come together and to make it a bit smoother/creamier, add 2 teaspoons of milk. Continue mixing until the icing is to your preference.

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Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve never baked anything using maraschino cherries before, but my Grandma gave me some cherries to bake with so I decided to make Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Don’t let the maraschino cherries scare you – they really don’t taste strongly of cherry, and are actually really nummy when baked in a cookie. My mom & brother both cringed when I said I was baking maraschino cherry cookies. I literally had to make them try a bite – But like I suspected, they were both surprised and loved the cookies!

The white chocolate balances out the sweetness of the cherries, making the cookies not overly sweet, but just right.
These cookies are large, soft & chewy but my favorite part of these cookies is how Christmasy they look. The red & green cherries make for the perfect Christmas cookie!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
{Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for 3 hours.}

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut into small pieces & patted dry
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter until completely melted and no chunks remain, than set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, and slowly mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the flour, salt, & baking soda and mix until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (or overnight)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheets, and flatten the balls slightly using either the bottom of a cup, or the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges are golden.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

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I just couldn’t stop baking with pumpkin that easily! Although Fall is sadly over, and we are now in the midst of the snowy weather season, I just couldn’t resist baking some more goodies using pumpkin. I had one can of pumpkin left over so I decided to whip up a batch of these gorgeous, soft & chewy Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies.

I love the combination of the flavorful pumpkin with the usual Gingersnap spices (ginger, cinnamon, & cloves). It makes for a perfect, spicy Winter cookie!
The pumpkin helps keep these cookies super moist, and really adds a nice punch of flavour.

These cookies are not hard & crunchy like most gingersnaps.. they are totally thick, soft & chewy which is just the way I like all cookies to be.. (No hard/crunchy cookies for me!)
I like to roll the cookies in sugar before baking because it adds a little more sweetness, and it also makes the cookies sparkle & look really pretty which is always a plus.

If you like gingersnaps, you will love these cookies.
They are a staple in our Fall & Winter baking, and we hope you enjoy them as well!

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, & vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. (Dough can be chilled for 1-3 days)

2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1-2 cups of sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls than roll balls into the sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet approx. 2 inches apart. Bake for only 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, and almost underbaked. That is what you want – do not overbake. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

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Happy Holidays Everyone!
Today we are sharing yet another de-lish Christmas Cookie recipe. (Who doesn’t love Christmas Cookies?!)
They’re cute little personal treats that spread some tasty festive cheer.

Cookies are my absolute favorite thing to bake at Christmas. Not cakes, not yule logs – cookies.
I love them for the fact that they are easy to pack up and give as gifts to friends & family, and they’re not messy.

Okay, I’ll be honest – the real reason for my love of cookies is that I somehow feel less guilty devouring 10+ cookies, than eating one slice of cake or any other dessert, (Cake just seems so heavy/decadent.)
Somehow in my mind I think that because cookies are small, that makes it okay to eat way more than I should! (I know, I know. My cookie addiction is out of control.)

These Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies are basically Christmas in a cookie.
They are perfect sugar cookies rolled in Christmas sprinkles & topped with a Hershey Candy Cane Kiss. Numm!
You get all the goodness of Christmas (sugar cookie dough, festive sprinkles and peppermint) wrapped up in one cookie.
These cookies are super easy to bake (no chilling or rolling dough is required!) and are a sure way to add a splash of colour to your Holiday cookie tray.

Enjoy & Happy Holiday Baking!

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(pre-bake. candy cane kisses and sprinkles galore!)

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Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: 24-27 cookies)

10 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
christmas sprinkles
24-30 Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Chocolates

Directions:

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until light & smooth. Add the egg yolks & vanilla extract, mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until fully combined.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls (approx. 1 tablespoon of dough each). Roll the balls into sprinkles and bake for only 9-10 minutes. The cookies will look underbaked, but that is how they should be. They shouldn’t be golden at all – Do not overbake.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, than once slightly cooled, press the Hershey kisses into the centers of the cookies. Once you have put the Hershey kiss on the cookies, immediately put the baking sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes to ensure that the Hershey Kiss’ don’t melt.

(Note: recipe slightly adapted from sallysbakingaddiction)

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Snowball Sandies

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In keeping with our ‘Holiday Cookie‘ theme, today we are sharing Snowball Sandies which are another cookie that we make year after year during the Holidays.

We like to call these little balls of love ‘Snowball Sandies‘, but they typically go by quite a few different names. They are most often referred to as Sandies, but also are called Mexican Wedding Cookies, Pecan Sandies, Butter Balls or Snow Cookies.

They are delicious nutty cookies that are rolled or coated in icing sugar and are similar in taste to a shortbread cookie but with the added goodness of pecans, and icing sugar. (They go perfectly alongside a nice cup of coffee or tea)

The white icing sugar makes them look like little balls of snow – They are so cute, you won’t be able to eat just one!
They really are the perfect Christmas cookie.

This recipe is from my mom and is a family favorite, (it’s actually my auntie’s favorite christmas cookie ever!).
Snowball Sandies are so easy to make, and are sure to add a little snowy touch to your Christmas cookie tray this year!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Snowball Sandies Recipe

Ingredients:
(yield: makes approx. 30-35 cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup icing sugar (for rolling the cookies in)

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for approx. 30 seconds till fluffy. Add the sugar, water, and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in flour and pecans.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Shape dough into 1″ – 1 1/2″ balls or crescents, and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on sheets for 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. After allowing cookies to cool (about 10 minutes), sift or roll cookies in icing sugar.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprint cookies are a staple during the holidays in our house.
Most thumbprint cookie recipes use the same ingredients – they’re usually shortbread type cookies, with slight variations. These Raspberry Thumbprint cookies are very similar in taste to shortbread cookies. They’re soft, with a tender crumb and the raspberry jam adds a nice sweet holiday flavour.

One of our favorite go-to thumbprint cookie recipes is very similar to this one but the cookies are rolled in pecans, and topped with a hershey kiss candy. (We’ll be posting that recipe soon!)

These Raspberry Thumbprints are the perfect Christmas cookie – they are easy to bake, & the jam adds a nice festive touch to the cookies. Feel free to use whichever preserves/jam you have on hand. Blackberry, peach etc.

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
{note: this recipe requires chilling the dough for 1 hour.}

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 37-40 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
raspberry jam

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla extract, salt and egg yolks and beat until blended.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a stiff dough.

2. Divide dough in half. Roll dough into 2 even sized logs, and wrap each log tightly in wax paper or saran wrap.
Chill dough logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated overnight).
Remove dough from fridge and let sit for about 10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Unwrap, and slice dough into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. (Each log should make about 20 cookies.) Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls and and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Using your thumb, make a small indentation in the center of the cookies and fill each hollow with approx. 1/4 tsp of jam each.

4. Bake for approx. 18 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the pans for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Natasha xo

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Recipes

Great Grandma Eames’ Scottish Shortbread Cookies

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Nothing says it’s Christmas time like shortbread cookies!
Okay, we also said that in our previous post about our amazing gingerbread cookies. But seriously, Christmas isn’t really Christmas without Shortbread. We say, ‘the more cookies the better!‘ We have more than enough love for every single kind of Christmas cookie!

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This recipe is from my Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames who was from Scotland. So I guess I can’t get any more authentic than that can I? However, I have changed it just a tad. (The nerve!)
My family’s traditional Scottish Shortbread has always been made and baked in a pan, pricked with a fork throughout and then cut in squares. Some family members still insist that I should be doing it that way. As that is the only way. I have changed it only in the way of rolling the dough out and cutting with Christmas shapes instead of in bars. Otherwise the recipe itself is still exactly the same as it has always been. Some family members swear the cookies taste different just because they are in cookie shapes and not the traditional bars. In any case… you can do either and I guarantee they taste delicious either way!

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Recipe for Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:
Yield 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

2 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. soft butter (unsalted)
1/2 c. confectioner sugar (icing sugar)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture into butter mixture and blend well.
Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle. (approx an hour)

If making into cookie shapes, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface at approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and add sprinkles (optional) before baking. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

If making into bars, press mixture into a parchment lined 9×9 square cake pan. Use a fork to make indents right through to the bottom of pan, allowing for air.

Bake at 325 for approximately 20-25 minutes.
(Just until slightly golden around the edges.)

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This recipe is now in it’s 5th generation of being passed down (on my mom’s side). It has obviously held a very special place in our hearts.
My mom and her brother (her only sibling) have plenty of stories of when they were growing up associated with this recipe. It was only made at Christmas time and it was a very big treat to even get a piece of this shortbread. It was typically reserved for the adult guests only.
Every year when I bake this shortbread I always think of these stories about my mom and my uncle when they were children growing up. This year those memories fill my heart even more as I remember my uncle and how much he loved this shortbread and how much I love him.
It is with love that we bake goodies and share them with our friends and family. I thought it would be nice to share stories of what Christmas baking means to you. What special memories do you have?

We know that you will love these Scottish Shortbread cookies/bars as much as we do!
Happy Christmas baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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